In my past several posts I’ve summarized literature suggesting that American organizations (and organizations worldwide) are experiencing a crisis of employee disengagement, compassion fatigue and burnout, and cultural dysfunction. Unfortunately, the more than 1,000 people who have taken our Culture IQ Test confirm these impressions.
The Culture IQ Test includes 8 questions, one for each of the 8 essential characteristics of a Culture of Ownership that are described in my book The Florence Prescription: From Accountability to Ownership. With more than half-a-million copies in print, this book has changed the way many leaders think about culture. Each of the 8 questions offers three possible responses so you end up with an aggregate score of between 8 and 24.
The results are sobering. The median response from those one-thousand-plus Culture IQ Tests is 16 (the arithmetic average is 15.6) out of a possible 24. Considered as a test score, that would be a 65% C-.
Only 3% of responses were 20 or higher, the range I would consider to reflect cultural excellence. Caveat: as I mentioned in a recent post, research shows that the higher one is on the organization chart, the rosier the glasses they wear when assessing their culture, so it’s possible that many those 25 or so “excellent” respondents all had the word “chief” in their titles.
At the other end of the spectrum, fully 12% of respondents rated their organizational cultures at 12 or below, a range where culture is toxic.
The remaining 85% – those between 12 and 20 – reflect a cultural assessment that ranges from mediocre to pretty good.
The Culture IQ Test is not a validated survey. It is intended to paint a quick shoot-from-the-hip picture of how someone assesses the culture of their workplace.
Our VCI-17 Culture Assessment Survey is a validated survey. Cumulative results from organizations that have taken that survey reinforce the impressions of the Culture IQ Test. In only one case have a majority of responses to our survey’s 14 questions been “Strongly Agree” – and those were from an organization that has made the Fortune Magazine roster of the 100 Best Companies to Work For each of the past ten years.
It would be easy – far too easy – to point fingers and lay all blame at the door of the executive office suite. To be sure, culture changes needs to start with leadership, but this is an “everyone” problem that will require an All Hands on Deck solution.
Please download my special report 20 Key Success Factors for Positive Culture Change. What can you do – what will you do – to be a Spark Plug for positive culture change where you work?